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California Corner

March 07, 1993|Mary Frances Smith

Festivals, Feasts & Fairs

SAN DIEGO--It's a green scene at the 13th annual San Diego St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Festival, beginning 11 a.m. Saturday. The shamrock-studded parade, on Fifth and Sixth between Juniper and Upas, is followed by the festival in Balboa Park, featuring live Irish music and dancing, booths selling Irish gifts and goods, food stands and a beer garden. (619) 299-7812.

BUELLTON--Support a good cause by showing off your backgammon expertise. The Mid-State Chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. will receive one-third of all entry fees from Buellton's first-ever Backgammon Tournament, 9:30 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. next Sunday at the Solvang Holiday Inn, 555 McMurray Road. There is open bracket competition ($90) for more experienced players and limited bracket ($30) for novices. Players must bring their own boards. (800) 638-8882.

LA QUINTA--The emphasis is on fine arts at the 11th annual La Quinta Arts Festival, March 18-21. The juried show features works by 200 artists from around the country, 10 a.m. to dusk daily in La Quinta Community Park at Eisenhower and Montezuma. Live entertainment is featured, including an appearance at 2 p.m. March 20 by Merv Griffin, the event's honorary chairman. $5 general admission, free for kids under 12. Interstate 10 east; turn right at the Washington Street exit, then right again on Eisenhower. (619) 564-1244.

FT. BRAGG--Celebrate the migration of the gentle giants at the 11th annual Ft. Bragg Whale Festival, March 20 in the downtown area. There's seafood chowder-tasting at 11 a.m., showcasing creations of local chefs ($3 for six tastings), and microbrewery beer tasting noon-4 p.m. ($15 for a mug and unlimited tastings). The nearby Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse is open for tours, and marine art by J.D. Mayhew and friends is on display at the Gray Whale Inn on Main Street. Whale-watching cruises are offered March 20-21 at Noyo Harbor ($20 for a two-hour trip). U.S. 101 north to California 128 west to California 1 north. (707) 961-6300.

PASO ROBLES--Ignace Paderewski, renowned pianist and post-World War I premier of Poland, is honored with a festival March 20 in the city where he spent extensive time in the early 1900s. Paderewski (1860-1941), who suffered from arthritis, came to Paso Robles for its healing sulfur baths. At the Paso Robles Inn, an 8 a.m. Polish breakfast featuring a guest speaker and pianist ($12) is followed by a bus tour of historic sites, departing at 10 a.m. ($11). An all-day art and antiques show is held in the City Park at 12th and Spring; a piano concert is staged at 3 p.m. at Flamson Middle School ($12 general, $10 for kids under 12 and seniors). A "Celebration of Zinfandel," featuring a wine auction and gourmet foods, is planned 7-9 p.m. at the Pioneer Museum ($35). An all-day Paderewski Festival passport ($65) provides admission to all events. (805) 238-0506.

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